Feeds

Boffins invent automatic net-hookup roboffinry machines

Exponential +feedback runaway droidscience epoch coming

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

"Skynet began to learn at a geometric rate"

Senior Brit boffinry chief Professor Douglas Kell seems to envision a setup of this sort. Speaking of the experimental experiments carried out by "Adam", he said:

"Computers play a fundamental role in the scientific process, which is becoming increasingly automated ... This has led to more scientific data, increasingly available on the web, which in turn requires an increased use of computers to analyse these data. Robot scientists could provide a useful tool for managing such data and knowledge, making scientific procedures easier and more efficient. This kind of learning will become even more important as we move further towards integrative and predictive biology in the era of Web 2.0 and the Semantic Web."

The worldwide roboffinry interweb hive-mind would work day and night, developing results with inhuman speed, automatically peer-reviewing them in a trice using spare processing capability, and then publishing them to itself within milliseconds. There'd be no time out for sleep, eating, practical jokes involving particle accelerators, accepting Nobel prizes etc. Presumably, now that scientists have built a machine which can replace scientists, we will soon have a machine which can replace such machines, so the whole thing should be self-sustaining.

It almost goes without saying that the self-replicating inhuman semantic-web-propelled autoscience globohookup would soon start to learn at an exponential rate, become self-aware and wipe out or enslave humanity. Alternatively, it ought fairly rapidly to reach a point at which we couldn't even understand what it was telling us: and it would therefore modify or improve us so that we could, possibly by dispensing with unnecessary accoutrements and keeping our artificially enlarged, rewired genetically-enhanced brains alive in bubbling vats of nutrient fluid.

Assuming that these pitfalls can somehow be avoided, though, it could all be pretty groovy. Hopefully the machines will crack abundant energy, antigravity, human immortality and interstellar travel before they work out the planetbuster bomb or whatever.

We would just like to note one further, rather sinister aspect of this. The team who developed "Adam" are now working on a new, better robotic seeker after knowledge called "Eve". Are they just messing with our heads? Or its this a coded attempt by the last human scientist left on the project to warn us before it's too late?*

Anyway, for those who haven't got the message that their primitive human brains are now obsolete, there's an intro here with links on to the relevant papers. ®

Bootnote

*You know. Apples, forbidden knowledge, chucking-out time at the Garden of Eden style of thing.

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
Who wants to be there as history is made at the launch of our LOHAN space project?
Two places available in the chase plane above the desert
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.